Game Preview: Siena at Manhattan

men's 2014-15 team picture

Siena heads on the road Friday night to take on Manhattan as they head into the second half of the MAAC schedule. Tip off at Draddy Gymnasium is scheduled for 7 pm. It is the 90th meeting between the two teams with Manhattan leading the series 49-40. The two teams split the series last season with each team winning at home. The Jaspers have won four straight against the Saints at Draddy while Siena has won ten straight in the series at the Times Union Center.

The Saints enter the game with a record of 8-11 overall and 5-5 in the MAAC, following a 69-55 loss to St. Peter’s on Sunday. They are currently tied for 6th place with Quinnipiac. Siena is entering a challenging second half of their MAAC schedule as 9 of their last 10 games are against teams with a .500 or better conference record. Six of their first 10 conference games were against teams that currently have MAAC records below .500.

“We had a nice meeting after Sunday,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “Why are we like this (up and down)? They made some suggestions. I had them write down some things they thought and I’m gonna follow some of them. We’re a team. A team’s everybody. I have to lead it but they have input so it was an interesting meeting. We had a really good practice. We’ll see if it translates Friday.”

Siena has split each of its first 5 MAAC weekends going 3-3 at home and 2-2 on the road.

Rob Poole is Siena’s leading scorer averaging 14.7 points per game (7th in MAAC). Despite being held to just 8 points the last time out, he has averaged 16.9 points and shot 47% from the field and 49% (17-35) from beyond the three-point arc in the last 7 games. He shot just 33% FG and 26% 3-pt. over the first 10 games of the season. Poole is second in the MAAC in free throw percentage (84.7%). He now ranks 16th on the career scoring list at Siena (1,352) behind Lee Matthews ’93 (1,365) and ranks 7th all time at Siena in three-pointers made (192) behind Dwayne Archbold (193).

Sophomore point guard Marquis Wright is second on the team in scoring averaging 12.7 points per game. He is currently second in the MAAC in assists (4.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0) and third in steals (1.8). He has had 6 assists and 14 turnovers in the last four games. Wright is now 14th all-time in assists at Siena with 292 (56 games) behind Kenny Hasbrouck (331, 129 games).

Sophomore Lavon Long is also averaging in double figures for Siena with 11.6 points per game and is tied for first with Poole in rebounding pulling down 5.1 boards per contest.  He has scored in double figures in each of his last seven games and 9 of his last 10. Long has shot 57% from the field over the last 7 games.

Sophomore Javion Ogunyemi as scored in double figures in seven of the last 11 games. He is averaging 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds this season after averaging just  1.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in his freshman season. Ogunyemi ranks third in the MAAC in field goal percentage (52.8%).

Evan Hymes is averaging 10.8 points and shooting 41% (14-34) from three-point range over the last 12 games. He now ranks 28th all-time in scoring at Siena with 1,227 career points behind Antoine Jordan  (1,232). He stands at 11th all-time in three-pointers made at Siena (172) behind Jeff Robinson (178) and is 12th in assists at Siena (339) behind Prosper Karangwa (343). Hymes is one of just eight players at Siena to reach 1,200 points and 300 assists for their career joining Marc Brown, Doremus Bennerman, Kenny Hasbrouck, Scott Knapp, Prosper Karangwa, Kevin McGraw and Mike Catino.

Siena is leading the MAAC and is tied for 4th nationally in free throws made per game with 18.4. They are averaging 15.2 turnovers per game in MAAC games after averaging just 10 per game in non-conference action.

5 for 11: Five Siena players have averaged in double figures over the last eleven games, Poole (15.7), Long (13.6), Wright (11.9), Hymes (10.7), and Ogunyemi (10.0).

Manhattan enters the game with a record of 9-10 overall and 6-4 in the MAAC, tied for 4th place with Canisius. They are coming off a 71-64 win over Monmouth. They are winners of 7 of their last 10 games.

The Jaspers are led in scoring by 6-6 senior forward Emmy Andujar (15.1 ppg. 6th in MAAC). He also leads the team in rebounding (7.2 rpg. 5th in MAAC), assists (3.1 apg-7th), steals (1.7 spg-5th), offensive rebounds (2.9 orpg-3rd) and defensive rebounds (4.3 drpg-10th).

Shane Richards, a 6-5 junior forward averages 12.6 points and Maryland transfer Ashton Pankey, a 6-10 junior forward, adds 12.2 points per game.

Manhattan is tied for sixth in the Division I ranks with 16.8 forced turnovers per game and have forced opponents into at least 16 turnovers in 13 of its 19 games. They are second in the league and 67th nationally with a +1.7 turnover margin.

“I think we just have to be tough with the ball,” said Wright. Really know what we’re doing on offense and execute  plays. I feel like once the plays get out of hand it’s my job to get the team together and be like, hey we’ve gotta run this play.”

Taking care of the ball will be a key for the Saints as they have struggled recently committing at least 15 turnovers in six of the last seven games. Prior to that they had 10 or fewer in 10 of 11 games.

“They pressure the ball,” said Poole. “They’re a tough team. They get a lot of deflections, a lot of turnovers. Against them you’ve got to play tough.”

Manhattan is 5-1 this season at Draddy Gymnasium and has won nine of its last 10 and 14-of-16 in Riverdale.

“Playing there is really tough,” said Poole. “They don’t lose there that much. They’ve got a lot of good guys. Andujar’s a great player and Richard’s stepped in and is scoring. It’s not the same team as last year but they’re just as good as last year.”

“We have to stop giving up so many threes,” said Patsos. “We have to take our three-point defense personally and we have to take being tough with the ball personally. We have to take it personal when we turn the ball over and we have to take it personal when a guy makes a three on us to like, not let him make another three.”

Manhattan 2014-2015 Results:


15-Sat……………..at Florida State  L – 66-81

18-Tue. …………..at Massachusetts  L – 68-77 (ot)

22-Sat. ……………vs. Binghamton  W – 78-63

23-Sun…………….vs. Northeastern  L – 51-65

29-Sat. ……………at George Mason L – 63-64


5-Fri. ……………..at Fairfield* L – 54-67

7-Sun…………….Marist* W – 60-38

14-Sun. …………..vs. Rutgers L – 55-63

17-Wed. ………….at Pittsburgh  L – 56-65

20-Sat. ………….Morgan State W – 73-69

22-Mon. …………vs. Fordham W – 71-57


2-Fri. ……………..at Niagara* L – 61-73

4-Sun. …………….at Canisius*  W – 63-60

7-Wed. ………….Saint Peter’s* W – 68-63

10-Sat. ………….Niagara* W – 84-75

16-Fri. …………….at Saint Peter’s* W – 72-65 (ot)

18-Sun…………..Rider* L – 79-82 (ot)

23-Fri………………at Quinnipiac*  L – 59-73

25-Sun…………..Monmouth* W – 71-64


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